Saturday, September 16, 2017

Day by Day Something Else has Come Back to Life here in Key West.

The Flag is Still Flying over Key West
     With the restoration of cell phone and internet service, several of my friends have called and asked if I’d go by their houses and take pictures so they could at least have an idea of what they were facing.  The restoration of communication is probably from a mental point of view the biggest thing that has come back to us.  It was nice to not have the Facebook, twitter etc. distraction while trying to get everything back up and operational, but knowing that my family and friends were worried about all of us and no way of knowing what had occurred.
Utility Workers putting the Infrastructure Back Together
    Several of people I know evacuated to Orlando during the hurricane and then drove back south to try to get back to their homes, only to be stopped at Homestead or at Mile Marker 70 and told to turn around.  The frustration caused because they are not allowed back in can be heard in their voices.  Many say their house s are OK and the road leading to it is passable, but the real problem is that there are a minimal number of grocery stores open and the ones that are open have lines for blocks to get into the store.   There is barely enough gas for the police who are on a constant patrol throughout the cities and the minimal medical capabilities would make it nearly impossible to take care of the “normal” problems without adding to the heat related injuries of everyone here without power and no AC to cool down in.  Dehydration and heat issues seem to be the biggest source of physical issues for the people as they try to do the “heavy lifting to clean up in these 90 to 95 degree humid temperatures we are experiencing.  "I'll never leave again", I’ve heard over and over again from frustrated friends.  I knew from Wilma that this was how it would be , so that was a big reason I stayed.
Thanks to All the Police that are Patrolling throughout the Keys
Despite a lack of services and a sundown-to-sunup curfew in Key West, there were several locals have been seen driving, bicycling and walking around the island.  It does you a lot of good to just get out and be able to do some of your normal things like riding the bicycle to town and communicate with many of the friends that chose to stay and share some of the experiences.
FEMA People, Our Wonderful Military Personnel 
Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, whose district includes the Florida Keys, said aboard the plane Monday, "It's clear that there's a lot of work to be done and this community's going to need a lot of support." He added that there are some "logistical challenges" in getting goods and services to the Keys, he called for a "robust" funding plan for FEMA and said Congress can't fund FEMA "month to month."   "To see the Florida Keys dark so to speak, as such a vibrant exciting part of our country that I'm blessed to represent," Curbelo said, "to just see everything at a standstill, and Key West as a ghost town, that was very striking for me."
Of Course, The Hurricane Hole is Still Standing